Three Singapore Groups Join Forces To Develop LNG Cooling System for Data Centers

Credit: Singapore LNG.
Singapore LNG, along with he National University of Singapore’s Faculty of Engineering and Keppel Data Centres Holdings is working to develop an energy-efficient cooling technology for data centers using liquefied natural gas.

The National University of Singapore’s Faculty of Engineering, Keppel Data Centres Holdings, and Singapore LNG (SLNG) have joined forces to develop a novel, energy-efficient, and cost-effective cooling technology using liquefied natural gas (LNG) for data centers.

With the rapid expansion of cloud-based services, artificial intelligence, the Internet of things, and big data analytics has come an exponential demand for data centers in recent years. As the leading data center hub of Southeast Asia, Singapore accounted for approximately 50% of the region’s data center capacity in 2015. Because of the high internal load and the need for consistent cooling and operation in a tightly controlled environment, data centers are among the major power consumers in the building sector.

In addition, Singapore’s tropical climate imposes a heavy energy burden on cooling in buildings. In 2018, data centrers accounted for 7% of the total annual electricity consumption in Singapore.

“About 37% of the total energy consumed by data centers is used to cool IT equipment. Therefore, improving the efficiency of the cooling system can result in significant energy savings and reduce the carbon footprint of data centers," said Praveen Linga, Dean’s Chair Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and the leader of the project team. "In this project, we aim to demonstrate a novel way of storing cold energy released from the LNG regasification process and using it to cool data centers efficiently.”

A five-member team from NUS Engineering, Keppel Data Centres, and SLNG will jointly develop a prototype of a new cooling medium that can achieve two key functions: first, to efficiently store and carry cold energy from the SLNG terminal to the various data centers and, second, to be circulated within the cooling loop in each data center to perform effective cooling.

This novel technology, called Semiclathrate Thermal Energy Carrier System (ScTECS), can potentially enable data centers to improve their power usage effectiveness by 20%. The footprint of the cooling infrastructure could also be reduced considerably, saving space and construction costs.

Read the full story here.


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